Drake under fire for afrobeats comments

Fans of the genre have criticised the rapper after he appeared to state that he was responsible for its popularity

CULTURE VULTURE CRITICISM: Drake (Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire)

DRAKE IS once again facing criticism for his work with stars and sounds outside of hip hop after comments he made in an interview went viral.

In a recently published interview with Rap Radar, Drake was asked about the impact of his collaborations with afrobeats artists.

“I’m inspired by music from all over. That’s how I end up doing, like, funk records from Brazil or, you know, I’m always obviously deeply invested in the dancehall space. Afrobeats has become one of the biggest genres in the world,” Drake said. Then, holding his hands up and laughing, he added: “You know, obviously no credit.”

In response to the claim that he popularised afrobeats with his single One Dance, featuring Wizkid, Drake said: “Yeah, I think Come Closer, One Dance.

“First of all the music those artists make in that space there’s nothing better than that…but I do think that genre deserved to get this popular and I’m very happy that I was able to even be part of that conversation.”

The 33-year-old rapper’s statements about creating music inspired by afrobeats and dancehall have sparked a debate online.

Responding to Drake’s comments, one critic tweeted: “If I slap.

“Drake deserves no credit for popularising afrobeats.

“Most people don’t consider One Dance afrobeats and these times all Wizkid did on the song was whisper.”

Another credited Burna Boy’s hit song Ye as being a bigger factor in the discovery of afrobeats among new audiences.

“Even Americans accidentally getting Ye by Burna when they were searching for Kanye’s album did more to popularise afrobeats than Drake on One Dance for the love of God y’all are feeding into his ego,” they tweeted.

Some fans came to the Canadian rapper’s defence.

“It’s ok to not like Drake but let’s not act like his songs with Wizkid and Popcaan haven’t made a huge impact on the popularity of afrobeats and dancehall,” a fan wrote.

Hot 97 presenter Ebro said: “Ojuelegba [remix with] Drake and Skepta was the tune we played to introduce the ‘afrobeats’ in NYC then the Davido tunes …. ‘One Dance’ was the tune and ‘Come Closer’ that introduced Wizkid to the masses.

“It was all happening around the same time just glad it happened!”

He added: “Drake deserves love for always showing different styles of Black music to passive audiences. And also how these sounds can work together through a HipHop lens…very dope.”

During the interview, the rapper was also asked about how he felt about being labelled a “cultural appropriator”.

He said: “They’re curated by a bunch of people who weren’t on this boat to begin with. The definition of appropriating a culture is not supporting that culture, doing songs with people who are deeply rooted in that culture, giving opportunity to people that are in that culture, that’s not appropriating.

“Appropriating is taking it for your own personal gain and denying that it was ever inspired from this. That’s the true disservice that somebody could do the UK, to dancehall to afrobeats. Me I’ve always, always every time i embark on one of those journeys I ensure that I’m not only paying all due respects verbally but I make a point to give opportunity to people that I respect.”

He said he believed things get misconstrued as his involvement often magnifies certain genres and cultures.

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1 Comment

  1. | onyionoja@hotmail.co.uk

    Give to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar. Drake certainly deserves credit for popularising Afrobeat. I love all his work with Wiki


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